Are you a sentient being 18 years of age or older looking to expand your horizons while traveling to alternate dimensions, meeting and/or fighting interesting people, and making lots of money?
If so, then GreyCorps® is interested in you!
For over 300 years, GreyCorps® has been the Multiverse's premier provider of diplomatic/paramilitary assistance. From simple security detail at social gatherings to assistance in resolving plane-spanning conflicts, GreyCorps® delivers.
We are looking for enthusiastic field agents to represent our interests while serving our exclusive clientele throughout the Multiverse. Applicants must possess a professional work ethic, exceptional problem solving skills, be able to pass the "I'm-Not-a-Broken-Character-Test", and be proficient in the martial and/or mystical arts. Natural planeswalking ability is not required, but it is a plus.
GreyCorps® offers exceptional benefits including 401K, paid vacations, pensions for long-term employees, health, dental, life, afterlife, and free Jolly Jeeves® s!
Come visit our job fair, held all this week at the Vizkopa Community Center. Located on the corner of Karlov Crossing and Obligation Way across from Snarg's House of Sin. Our friendly recruiters are accepting applications and conducting interviews on-sight on a first-come-first-served basis.
Don't let this unique opportunity slip through the Æther! Join GreyCorps® today!
GreyCorps® and Jolly Jeeves® are registered trademarks of Lord Grey Interplanar Conglomerate and protected under interplanar copyright law. Unauthorized use of these trademarks are subject to fines and penalties determined by LGIC and it's parent(s) which may include monetary fines, imprisonment, and/or very bad things.
After a much needed hiatus, I decided to give the old roleplaying bit another go. This is essentially a reboot of the Lord Grey & Co. mythos: some things will be similar to their last incarnation while others will be different this time around. Most importantly, I'm toning down the power level (and ego) and going with something a bit more approachable (and hopefully far more fun). For continuity purposes, the events of that old thread never happened. I, as well as a few others would be content to chalk that one up as a learning exercise.
Overall gist: GreyCorps® is assembling a specialized team to travel the Multiverse aboard a state-fo-the-art vessel to assist various clients in solving a variety of interesting problems (in other words: they're mercenaries). These events will take place in the Magic Multiverse, albeit a version that features burgeoning planeswalking technology that has helped branch the various planes and give rise to interplanar business empires (like L.G.I.C.). Looks like someone finished Venser's work…or repurposed some old Phyrexian tech. This series of adventures is inspired by Magic canon and follows most of its important rules, however there are a few creative liberties and/or parodic elements sprinkled in there (ex: there are various "interplanar" versions of devices found in the real world (Ex: portable telephones, limousines, etc.).
If you wish to participate, please forward your persona's résumé via Private Message to the Sentient Resources department (aka: me). Make sure to include:
Plane of Origin
Desired Position(s) in the Crew (ex: Helmsman, Medical Officer, Infantry, Science Officer, Quartermaster, Chef, etc.)
Skill set (ex: combat and/ or magical disciplines, talents, accomplishments, etc.)
Reason why he/she/it wants to join GreyCorps®
All personas will be subject to review to make sure their concept (and more importantly, their power level) are appropriate for this chronicle (in other words, I don't want to see any machine-toting Super Saiyans or any immortal Oldwalkers who scoff at the Mending).
I'm willing to be flexible with this as long as whatever you're trying to do is compatible with this multiverse…and isn't overpowered.
If you have any questions, feel free to message Sentient Resources or ask some of the friendly recruiters at the Job Fair.
EDIT: 12/02/13. Added list of confirmed participants. Will be updated accordingly.
Lasersharp as "Aurora Illumina" DakmorQueen as "Mystery" pikachugundam as "Pikachu" vligerdragon as "Tree" pet snake as "Alv" Digi as "Digi" chiligyro as "Ghaal" Void as "Dante"
and Lord Grey as everyone else
Vash the Stampede
The "Water Bear" Arc
Immediately after being hired to GreyCorps®, the new recruits are thrust into their first assignment with little to no warning: they are tasked with stopping and apprehending a biogenetic terrorist named Mojo Vig who is unleashing havoc on a Ravnican market district. Despite just meeting each other, they manage to work together to quash a Vig-lead octorilla uprising and collar the mad scientist after beating him into submission. As the local authorities rush to the scene, the team is instructed by an enigmatic figure to flee the scene with their prize in tow. Following their cue, they are lead to an abandoned district where their new employer Lord Alistair Pygmalion Grey awaits them. They soon board his state-of-the-art planewalking ship The Ashen Rook and make their way to the plane Aranzhur where they plan to collect a sizable bounty for Mojo Vig's capture.
After a much needed break from the action and a guided tour of the massive mobile facility courtesy of Magic Maid 867, the crew enters Aranzhur and touches down in the city of Dunopolis with the fugitive Vig in their custody. When they meet the city's delegation, the crew discovers that they have been unduly transmogrified by Mojo Vig (in other words, they're now a bunch of bizarre humanoid sea-creature hybrids). And to make matters worse, they say that Mojo also absconded with "the water-bearer" that provides the desert city with much needed water. But with some ingenuity, intimidation, and Ghaal's exceedingly toxic truth serum, the crew manages to make Mojo Vig divulge the location of the water-bearer...moments before his head inexplicably explodes :o. With the location in hand, the crew makes their way to a distant sea in order to rescue the water-bearer.
When they reach the North Zharym Sea, they encounter a glowing "jellyphant" that leads them to a colossal underwater complex. Within its confines, the crew hopes to locate the water-bearer. They encounter a small attachment of bio-genetically altered soldiers and make short work of them. However, they have worse luck when trying to negotiate a mystical intercom and fail to convince the personnel on the other line that they are "Darlene". This sets of the alarms and the crew is promptly captured by a small mutant army led by Commander Pynch. Pynch escorts his captives to meet his employer and master: Mojo's older and more mentally-sound brother Jojo Vig. After a bit of tit-for-tat and some timely technomantic manipulation by Digi, Squad Obsidian turns the tables on their captors and convinces them to release the water-bearer. Jojo also clarifies that his idiotic brother Mojo kidnapped the water-bearer without his knowledge and was therefore solely responsible for the whole debacle. Pynch now escorts the crew to retrieve their prize: an adorable little girl named Majara who claims to be a "great sea serpent"...and can conjure vast volumes of water from her sippy cup. Vig and his employees are unnerved by the girl for some reason and are more than happy to let GreyCorps® take her off their hands. With their prize in tow, the crew returns to the Ashen Rook and they fly back to Dunopolis.
Majara is returned to the delegation's custody without incident and GreyCorps® is paid handsomely for their efforts. However, the crew has yet to find a cure for the delegation's transmogrifications. Digi informs the group that he has a valuable contact in Ravnica" a Simic bio-geneticist known as "Dr. Harrison". Lord Grey places some calls on his exclusive interplanar rotary phone and the good doctor is soon ferried to Dunopolis (via interplanar limousine). Utilizing his prodigious bio-genetic expertise - and a very cool medical syringe gauntlet - Dr. Harrison reverts the Dunopolis delegation and an unduly pongified Merfolk Maid back to their original forms. With Dunopolis's current problems solved, GreyCorps® is properly thanked and compensated for their efforts and they planeswalk to their next adventure.
The "Ghoulie High" Arc
Not long after completing their first mission, Squad Obsidian is summoned to a conference where Lord Grey begins to brief them on their next assignment...only to be interrupted by one of their clients: an strikingly beautiful yet emotionally distraught woman named Svetlana Falkenrath, someone who is apparently very familiar with Lord Grey. She tells the crew that her daughter Lidiya, who is enrolled in the exclusive Thraben Preparatory Academy for Aspiring Souls did not return home during the recent semester break. Several other students have also disappeared under similar circumstances but their parents have received very little help from the school or local authorities. Therefore they, as well as Svetlana have hired GreyCorps® to locate and return their children.
Squad Obsidian arrives at Thraben Prep but soon find that the mood on Innistrad is most somber: the archangel Avacyn has turned up missing which has caused the countryside to be overrun with ghouls and other terrors of the night. To that effect the school's curriculum has taken a turn from the academic and is now focusing more on finding ways to combat those that threaten humanity's way of life. After Aurora (alias: "Jerrica Benton") and Mystery (alias: "Luettea Narborn") meet their new roommates they're given a tour of the facilities by the militant Captain Stennis and his devout entourage of cathar trainees. All the while Tree takes on the guise of a health-conscious lunch lady and Digi masquerades as engineering teacher "Dr. Sheen Silversmith".
The first day seems uneventful: the student body enjoys their "Cephalid Breakfast" and eventually file into the Grand Cathedral for the semester's inaugural assembly. A faculty member enthusiastically engages the crowd only to be interrupted by a horde of zombies who rise up from the ground. He as well as some of the other faculty members unconvincingly pretend to be scared, seemingly under the pretense that the whole thing is an act. As soon as the Future Cathars of Thraben charge the stage and try to "fight" them, it is revealed to everyone's horror that the zombies are real! A harrowing battle ensues, which prompts Squad Obsidian to take up arms and defend the student body and staff...all while trying to maintain their cover. They manage to protect the vast majority of the attendants, but the ordeal does not resolve without casualties. The battle eventually ends when a hail of glowing arrows smite the remaining zombies. Chancellor Meredith Drace, headmistress of Thraben Prep emerges to criticize everyone else in attendance. She states that the students failed their "entry exam" and that their performances must improve in order for humanity to survive. The assembly concludes and with little time to recover from the shock, the students are instructed to immediately report to their second period classes.
Aurora and Mystery's reprieve from conflict is short lived when they begin their first class: Hand-to-Hand Combat 101 (which oddly enough incorporates a fair amount of weapons). Captain Stennis begins to instruct the class on the finer points of zombie-slaying, but is abruptly called out of the classroom. He leaves the class in the hands of his exceedingly cruel student aid: Junior Lieutenant Bonzo. Bonzo wastes no time asserting his authority over the rest of the class, often through violent means. The ever defiant Mystery takes issue with Bonzo's teaching methods and soon finds herself and Aurora in his crosshairs. They narrowly escape incurring his wrath thanks to some coaching from a "creepy voice". That class ends and lunch period begins...and they soon find themselves at the end of a mischievous iced coffee projectile. As soon as that debacle concludes they go their separate ways until the next class begins. Though the arrival of some mysterious cryptic envelopes hints that they have piqued someone's curiosity.
Potion-making class is uneventful save for an accidental fire. However, Spell-slinging class proves positively disastrous: during an instructional magical duel , Mystery uses some of her "Chaos Magic" on her opponent...and inadvertently changes her into a very hungry plant. This infuriates Professor Emberwisp who literally pulls Mystery out of class, hands her off to some masked cathars, and tasks them with sending her to "detention". When Mystery's fate appears all but certain, one of the cathars unexpectedly turns on the other and drags Mystery off to the catacombs. While the masked "Martoq" stows Mystery away in a sarcophagus, Aurora and Tree receive vocal instructions from an unknown entity to rendezvous in the catacombs.
They are led to a secret chamber and discover that the one sending them messages was none other than Lidiya, the person they were sent to find. After using some choice words to criticize their performance on the field, Lidiya reveals that she is in fact an S-Class covert operative employed by GreyCorps®. She and Squad Obsidian engage in a "strategy session" which boils down to her providing an honest critique of their less than stealthy approach to a covert mission...and then there's an impromptu interrogation of a cathar Lidiya had lying around. Their captive provides little intel besides that everything is happening "behind the scenes" beyond the Detention Area. Several brimming steins of blood and several thousand volts of electricity later, the crew have themselves a dead cathar and a date with destiny.
Upon reaching the detention block, they discover that several students have been sequestered to various cells where they are forced to undergo some form of indoctrination. They overpower a small contingent of sentries and the Registrar who despite being maimed by Pikachu defiantly speaks of Chancellor Drace's "crusade" to protect humanity from all who are not human. Before he could divulge any useful information, the Registrar's life is snuffed out when an enchanted arrow of unknown origin lodges itself in his head. The crew cautiously follows its source through a dark hallway which leads them to an unsettling ritual that is underway. A robed man calling himself Donovan can be seen leeching the life from a hapless girl in order to power the protective wards he has over the campus. Donovan tells the group that he and his "brethren" were hired by Chancellor Drace to provide security to the school, but he has issue with needing to constantly sit in one place and drain the essence from pretty girls to do his job. He convinces Aurora to take his place on the altar in exchange for helping them get rid of Drace. But he makes a run for it after passing the torch. Aurora severs her tie to the runic forcefield thus deactivating the wards and opening Thraben Prep back up to the rest of the world.
The group springs the captive students from their cells, after getting an earful from Chancellor Drace via holographic communication. They then make their way to the front lobby of the Arcane Arts building where they engage in a - literally - heated battle with Professor Emberwisp. While things appear too hot to handle at first, they are able to emerge victorious thanks to the timely arrivals of Dr. Dante, Digi, Sidearm Butler 916 and Cyro-Maid 867 (aka: "Snowflake"). More sentries are dispatched, the hotheaded Emberwisp becomes a preserved specimen, and the doors come off of their hinges. They soon find that Chancellor Drace and a contingent of her soldiers are manning the front gates to keep an angry mob of concerned parents away from their children. Opting to take the direct approach, Squad Obsidian confronts Chancellor Drace who is accompanied by a contingent of indoctrinated cadets, "Bonzo" (who is revealed to be the older brother of Donovan Bonzora), and Donovan himself.
Our heroes manage to break through the main gate and ferry their charges to safety, but not without incurring the wrath of the Bonzora Brothers. In a dramatic display, Donovan rouses the countless dead that litter the grounds and fuses them into a colossal Grave Titan. All the while, Dominic spurs his unwitting subordinates to defend Drace and attack Squad Obsidian. Those efforts are rebuffed by Squad Obsidian who then go on the offensive and bare down on the titan, Drace, and the Bonzoras. The undead colossus is eventually vanquished, Drace is seemingly consumed by Dante's inferno (not to be confused with the second act of the Divine Comedy) leaving behind an odd cloud of ash shaped like a splayed hand. Just when Squad Obsidian gets the upper hand, the tables are turned when Dominic reveals himself as a demon with an exceedingly high threshold for pain and Mystery's roommate "Candy" reveals herself to be a deadly cognomatic archer who also happens to be Donovan and Dominic's sister Quinn. After Quinn wounds Tree and "Snowflake" and the rest of the squad's attacks prove ineffective against Dominic, all hope appears to be lost...until the Ashen Rook arrives just in time. Unwilling to test their might against an entire army or the firepower of an interplanar craft, the Bonzora siblings decide to cut their losses and escape.
Moments after the battle concludes, Lord Grey and Svetlana arrive on the scene all the while engaged in a heated exchange of their own. It is then revealed that Svetlana is Lord Grey's ex-wife and that Lidiya is their daughter. The former couple have a "joint custody" agreement in order to share time with Lidiya. Svetlana is beside herself when her assumptions that Thraben Prep is the wrong school for her little girl are all but confirmed by the events that transpired on its grounds. Remaining coy (in order to keep Svetlana from knowing Lidiya's been playing the fooseball secret agent behind her back) , Lord Grey maintains that the school was a solid choice and that the insurrection within its walls was unforeseeable. The argument continues until Lady Falkenrath stresses herself into premature torpor (aka: a long vampire nap). She is then delicately ferried back to her estate, the cleanup crew takes care of the mess the Bonzoras left behind, and the students are reunited with their loved ones. When all is said and done, GreyCorps® and a select few VIPs board the Rook and they planeswalk to their next destination.
The "Blood for Tea" Mini-Arc:
Note: Acts as a precursor to the "Fetch 665" Arc
After their harrowing ordeal on Innistrad, the crew of the Ashen Rook touch down at GreyCorps® home office located in Vizkopa, Ravnica. Squad Obsidian sees off their last charge Tamara Endris (an elf girl who was Aurora's roommate at Thraben Prep), but this won't be the last time they see her. As Lord Grey prepares to engage in a marathon session of interviews and business proposals, his subordinates take advantage of their downtime to peruse a busy marketplace that is but a stone's throw away from HQ. Baring witness to an old Orzhov tradition, Squad Obsidian get their first taste of how the Guild of Deals control their flock. When Pikachu spies Tamara frantically gathering alms coins, the elven girl scurries into a dark alley out of embarrassment. The intrepid ninja and Aurora give chase until their friend stops in her tracks: it appears her father Tayvin Endris has become the victim of a good old fashioned Orzhov extortion ring. She, Aurora, and Pikachu silently eavesdrop on the proceedings which boil down to Tayvin being informed that his mandatory "tithe" has been doubled and that if he fails to pay by midnight a vampire and his cohorts will "make an example of him". After giving the unfortunate elven merchant a few quick jabs, his creditors leave him to his own devices. Tamara and Squad Obsidian come to his assistance, but before much more can be said they are prompted to return to HQ for their next assignment. Desiring to help their new friends, Aurora and Pikachu bring Tamara and Tayvin with them to speak with the boss.
When they finally reach Lord Grey's office, Squad Obsidian is introduced to an odd middle-aged man named Vic who apparently has a past connection with Tree. Tree manages to recognize her old friend, but her notoriously poor memory prevents her from making a more meaningful connection. Vic states that he is a member of a merchants guild who wish to set up shop in Ravnica, but a particular item of great value has been left behind in the plane of Rabiah. The presumably Rabian merchant says he can help fill in the holes of Tree's memory if she and her associates would be willing to retrieve his merchandise from Ali. As the meeting proceeds, Tayvin waits anxiously at the end of a sizable line of other clients who arrived before him. Not wanting the elven merchant to be lost in the shuffle (or miss his midnight deadline with his "creditors"), Pikachu petitions that Tayvin be allowed to bypass the line. Instead of letting his other clients see Tayvin jump the queue, Lord Grey draws up a quick contract and has Pikachu deliver it to Mr. Endris to sign. Upon securing the signature, Grey tasks the intrepid rat ninja with delivering a message to Blood Baron Merik - the one currently providing Tavin's "protection". Pikachu quietly sets about his task while Grey, Vic, and the rest of Squad Obsidian engage in some Q & A to determine which of the 1,001 Rabiahs they are supposed to visit (they eventually arrive at Rabiah #665).
Meanwhile, Pikachu takes a three mile saunter across town and delivers Lord Grey's message to Blood Baron Merik. Accompanied by the house thrull Phlegmlok, Pikachu meets Merik and hand delivers the note. The gist of the note states that the entire Endris bloodline is now under Grey's protection...but here's a sachet of tea as a consolation prize. ;). Merik is enraged and demands satisfaction, which Pikachu delivers in the form of his signature "railgun" coin attack. And the long GreyCorps® tradition of making heads explode continues. As soon as he dispatches the naughty vampire, Pikachu discovers that there are three more victims being held captive/ tortured in that very room. Pikachu opts to liberate the lot of them and raze the crime scene, in an attempt to destroy the evidence. Merik Manor thus goes up in flames, the rest of the Squad rendezvous with Pikachu, and they ferry the captives to the safety of GreyCorps® HQ...
But not without encountering one of the many sophisticated "buffers" that protect HQ from unauthorized individuals. This "buffer" turns out to be quite accommodating: for it is none other than The Jeeves Cake Factory, one of Ravnica's most prestigious fine-casual eateries. The Squad and the liberated captives are seated and served by a handsome waiter named Lamont who turns out to be quite gifted in the magical arts. So much that he is able to effortlessly cast a mass stasis spell on the captives, patrons, and his co-workers just so he can privately chat with Squad Obsidian about the nature of buffers, why non-members has to order off the menu, and lightheartedly criticize "The Old Man". Preferring to nosh at the AYCEIBL than page through a tome-sized menu, the Squad leaves their guests in Lamont's capable hands and indulge in a hearty buffet meal before embarking on their trip to Rabiah 665.
The "Fetch 665" Arc:
After assassinating some vampires, liberating some captives, stuffing their faces, and getting the keys to a planeswalking RV named The Murderous Crow of all things, Squad Obsidian make their way to Rabiah 665 to retrieve Vic's mysterious package. They give the ship a brief once over before putting it on auto-pilot and settling down for a nap. Hours later they wake up to discover that Lidiya is also on board. She claims that the Murderous Crow is her craft and that she likes to use it to escape the grind of GreyCorps® business...and that her father Lord Grey has apparently loaned it out without her knowledge (or the knowledge that she was currently bunking in it). With their surprise +1 in tow, Squad Obsidian finally touches down in the bazaar of Rabiah 665...
However, upon arrival they discover that the old bazaar is nearly vacant. It seems Ali and just about every other vendor have pulled up stakes and moved their operations to the brand new "Hanging Galleria of Bonzora". After listening to the old shopkeeper lament over that newfangled shopping mall's stranglehold on the local economy, the crew board the Crow and set course for the Galleria...and hope they don't cross paths with the wrong Bonzoras. To help themselves blend in, Aurora and Tree peruse the extensive wardrobe left over by one of Lidiya's old squad-mates for a suitable disguise. Once their selections are made, the group flies over to the mall. They navigate through that monument of consumerism, partake of some shawarma, and eventually make their way to Ali's Cave of Wonders. The curio shop's owner has Vic's parcel - an elaborate onyx carved box bearing the equally elaborate moniker "The Cradle of Oniryumaru", however he requires a sizable payment of 500,000 Rabian Dinar before relinquishing custody. Oddly enough, Vic failed to mention that fact during the team's briefing. At this point a curious sentient and very well-spoken Maine Coon by the name of Whimbly (played by Dox Quaidly) enters the shop and informs the crew that he has been assigned to Squad Obsidian and that he happens to be an old friend of Lord Grey. More than aware of the current quandary, the dapper cat places a call to the Old Man himself and requests a transfer of funds to purchase the Cradle. Grey quickly fulfills the request ( "I'll just put that on his tab." ) and soon enough the squad is walking out the door with their prize in tow.
The group make their way back to GreyCorps® HQ and deliver the goods to Vic. Upon deciphering a cryptic inscription on the chest, it appears that Tree is somehow the only one who can break its seal. After doing so (with dragon fire no less) the cradle's contents are revealed: an annotated map of Kamigawa that points out the location of a very special tree. Could it be Tree's tree? Their curiosity more than piqued, they set about escorting Vic to Kamigawa to investigate...after spending an entire day enduring the caustic auditory assault that is the Necropalooza umbral metal festival (hey, Lidiya's been waiting 66 years to go and her favorite band is playing). With that out of the way, the crew and their client make their way to Kamigawa.
They eventually find Tree's tree - and Tree's tree talks (and for some reason refers to Tree as Little Tree). With minimal prodding, it is discovered that Tree's tree acts as a gatekeeper to a wondrous underground treasure trove. When they enter the vault they find it brimming with gold...which turns out to be mostly disappointing holographic gold. The same holographic vignette reveals that the trove was plundered some time ago by a thieving rat named Gold-Tooth, the Sixty-Sixth Night Flower and...a preteen Lidiya? Vic is especially shocked at this turn of events, most notably due to the fact that the rat stole an enormous black jewel dubbed "the Heart of Oniryumaru". Upon returning to the Crow and rousing Lidiya from her nap, they learn that she was tutored by Kiku when she was but a child - over 400 years ago . Since she and her associates filched the jewel for some "creepy old guy" in Takenuma, that would logically be the next place to investigate. They begin their investigation at a somewhat seedy marketplace. As Aurora tests the merits of some Air Higure™ tabi, Pikachu has a surprising reunion with his cousin Pikabuu "Buu Buu" Gundam. Though it is more than apparent that Buu Buu is less of a ninja than his cousin, he does offer to help shed some light on the mysterious Gold-Tooth. Wanting to avoid undesired attention, the group decides to resume the conversation at a local nightlife hotspot - Divining Tops.
Squad Obsidian and Co. make their way into the club - but not without picking up an additional party member - a somewhat disheveled ronin named Ken Watanabe. After checking their dangerous contraband at the door, the group find their suite and go about ordering a spread of food and libations for the evening - or at least as much as Buu Buu's mounting tab will allow. Watanabe excuses himself from the table, but Whimbly decides to shadow him. This yields a vague yet intriguing conversation between a sloshed Watanabe, a bar hostess, and the mysterious Driver who just so happens to be in town "selling insurance". The aviator sunglass-clad man leaves the hostess his card (which Whimbly promptly snaps up for reasons unknown) and Watanabe to his own devices. Back in the suite, Buu Buu tells the squad that the city is currently governed by a reclusive and enigmatic figure known as the Daimyo of Dusk and that Gold-Tooth happens to be his chief lieutenant. And that this ruler's ranks have been swelling as of late. But before they can discuss the matter further, their conversation is interrupted by a ruckus from the neighboring suite. It turns out a local street gang dubbed the Gilded Dawn have turned Divining Tops into their personal playground, opting to revel loudly and impose on the waitstaff to their hearts' content. Squad Obsidian decide to air their grievances to the gang's leader - an arrogant, youthful nezumi named Amber-Fang. When diplomacy fails, fists fly which eventually results in considerable damage to the property. The fight is halted by the club's new proprietor, who turns out to be none other than Gold-Tooth (who also happens to be Amber-Fang's grandfather). Despite his advanced age, the elderly nezumi has no trouble disciplining his grandson and his hoodlum friends for their deplorable behavior. After running off those wannabe yakuza, listening to Vic's proposal, and surviving a thwarted assassination attempt by Watanabe (rubber eighth note + head = exploding head), Gold-Tooth reluctantly agrees to grant the group an audience with the Daimyo. He dismisses himself to set up the meeting and leaves his loyal staff to clean up the rest of the mess.
As they await an official summons from the daimyo, the squad checks into the luxurious Palace in the Clouds hotel to get some rest (which is put on Vic's tab, of course). After securing two suites for the group, Lidiya steps out for a stroll while everyone else either lies down for a nap or takes advantage of one of the hotel's many accommodations. Ever the inquisitive spy, Pikachu chooses to shadow his vampiric co-worker. Perhaps it is no surprise that Lidiya has some poor soul tied up in the Crow whom she's set aside for a late night snack. However, it is surprising to discover that this particular person is no hapless victim, but a warrior who wields a blade of light. He breaks free of his bonds and engages his captor in combat. He and Lidiya have an intense battle, but ultimately she gains the upper hand and prepares to sink her teeth into her uncooperative dinner. And she nearly succeeds, if not for Pikachu's intervention upon seeing an image of Tree tattooed to the ronin's back. In lieu of exsanguination, the man - whose name is Yusuke Watanabe - recounts the legend of an ancient battle between the demonic dragon Oniryumaru and the "Great Sensei". At the same time, the rest of Squad Obsidian appear to live out that very battle in their dreams - with Tree assuming the role of sensei! They fight valiantly against the demonic dragon and his undead legions alongside a small army of light-wielding warriors calling themselves the Gilded Dawn, one of whom bares a striking resemblance to Vic. Despite suffering heavy casualties, the Great Sensei insists that "dewolla live on". This dispels the darkness, brings about visions of light, and heralds the apparent defeat of Oniryumaru. The dream/vision ends with some cryptic messages and a voice urging Tree to "keep it safe". When all is said and done, the squad find themselves standing in the middle of their wrecked hotel room. Back in the Crow, Pikachu conjures up an unsavory business associate whom Lidiya feeds upon with little to no hesitation (mainly because she's damn thirsty and close to losing control). As soon as her appetite is sated, she and Pikachu drag Yusuke back to the hotel in hopes that he may shed some light on their situation.
The group convenes in the hotel room where Yusuke tries to make a connection with Tree...but that falls short due to her poor memory ( "Hi! I'm Tree!!!" ). Before they can discuss things further, an undead courier delivers them a summons to the daimyo's palace. They promptly board an awaiting carriage which whisks them away to their destination...and somehow forget to bring Vic with them. The crew along with Yusuke and Pikabuu arrive at the appropriately dark palace of the Daimyo of Dusk. After navigating the gloomy halls they meet the daimyo himself - a decrepit old man with poor fashion sense and a modest contingent of undead guards. When the group questions him about the Heart of Oniryumaru, the daimyo is shocked that they would want "his" heart. In an astonishing display, the old reagent opens his kimono to reveal that the Heart in question is literally his heart. He tells them that some of his underlings acquired it for him 400 years ago in order to achieve immortality and expand his control over the swamp region of Takenuma - with the added benefit of necromancy. Disgusted by his apparent evilness, the squad attempts to seize the Heart by force. The daimyo and his guards are easily overpowered, prompting the ruler to plead for his life. At this point Vic enters the scene and states that he must "have the Heart in his hands" in order to restore Tree's memory (implying the necessity of killing the daimyo). Facing imminent death, the desperate daimyo offers Tree a special remedy to cure her memory problems if she spares his life. Unfortunately for him neither Tree nor the rest of the group are buying his story. Tree promptly tears the crystalline organ from the helpless daimyo's chest, killing him.
As the Heart of Oniryumaru pulses in Tree's hand, Vic urges her to hand it to him, but she begins to doubt his intentions. She seeks counsel from her squamates, who share her concerns in light of Vic's recent change in demeanor. Yusuke recounts the part of the legend when upon Oniryumaru's defeat, five of his most integral pieces were severed from his form then entrusted to the five different planeswalkers who helped vanquish the demonic dragon. The accounts suggest that Vic was one of the 'walkers in question. When Pikachu asks for more information, Vic loses his patience and unsuccessfully attacks Yusuke. Seething, Vic asks Tree if she is going to give him his Heart or not. More than convinced that Vic's motives are less than benevolent, Tree refuses to relinquish custody of the Heart. Before engaging the squad in battle, Vic admonishes the group for not following through with their commitment and states that they've spoiled any chance at restoring Tree's memory - even going so far as pointing out that the daimyo was telling the truth about the remedy he offered. Squad Obsidian and Vic - who is now sporting demonic powers courtesy of 4 out of 5 pieces of Oniryumaru engage in a brief yet vicious battle of swords, fangs, and sorcery. Though Vic puts up an impressive fight, the squad eventually gain the upper hand.
Shrugging off more than a few wounds, Vic tells the group that they misunderstand his motives - he wants Tree to remember.
In a manner similar to the daimyo's, "Vic" peels away his disguise to reveal that he is in fact Oniryumaru and he has been trapped in Vic's corpse for the past 600 years. Oniryumaru gives a painful account of how he was torn asunder and scattered across five different planes of existence. He says that he tried to put himself back together, but the task was impossible for a non-planeswalker and thus beyond agonizing. One day he is offered the means to fulfill this impossible dream, but at the price of his pride, dignity, and freedom. He rambles cryptically about how he and the squad are involved in some sort of outlandish game and that they have made the wrong decision by denying to grant him the wish that he has earned. He attempts to appeal to Tree's sense of honor by reminding her of their history as two eternal rivals who shook the heavens and challenged each other to be their very best...even if it did involve an exorbitant amount of death and destruction. 'Maru stated his desire for both of them to be whole again so they could go back to the way things were - as Kamigawa's respective embodiments of Dusk and Dawn.
Tree wants to help 'Maru live out this dream, however she faces opposition in both Pikachu and Yusuke. They are both convinced that allowing 'Maru to become whole again would be far too great a risk to the plane. Whimbly disagrees and wishes to fight 'Maru out of his disdain for him. Wrestling with these newly surfaced feelings and the safety of the plane, Tree finally agrees to hand over the Heart. However, Pikachu proposes the countermeasure of attaching an explosive mine on the Heart as to prevent 'Maru from trying to kill them before they can leave the plane. Tree reluctantly bows to this proposal to the disgust of 'Maru. He chides Tree for resorting to such cowardly tactics and implies that this countermeasure would prevent the two of them from having a proper reunion (and prevent him from helping with Tree's memory). But ultimately discretion proves the greater part of valor and Tree hands over the Heart with the bomb still attached, sacrificing her chance at restored memories for the sake of a more peaceful resolution. Beyond disgusted and utterly disappointed, 'Maru accepts his bomb-rigged heart and harshly dismisses the group...after he reveals that he earned his "wish" by spending the last 500 years working for GreyCorps™. Just as the group see themselves out, Yusuke lunges at the depressed 'Maru. This turns out to be a fatal mistake for Yusuke as the freshly apathetic sorcerer effortlessly kills him. With a less than satisfying conclusion, Squad Obsidian and Pikabuu depart Kamigawa with Yusuke's remains in tow and return to GreyCorps™ HQ.
The Debriefing and Subsequent Downtime
Upon their return, Squad Obsidian is summoned by Lord Grey for a debriefing on the mission. He states that the preceding mission was 'Maru's "Career Contract" and that he was dissatisfied with the squad's performance. Grey alludes that in addition to acting as 'Maru's retirement package, the mission served as a test to see if the group was willing to follow through on their commitments...even with limited information and in the face of death. The squad is understandably confused and in some cases angry at the lack of intel on the mission. Grey reiterates that the ordeal was a test and that the group needs to think very hard about their careers at GreyCorps™...especially since they are only partially done with their 500 year service contracts! And he further communicates his dissatisfaction by casually levying a "symbolic sanguinous penalty" on the Squad Obsidian by remotely drinking a portion of each squad member's blood...because he's a vampire (which may or may not come as surprise)! Pikachu gets woozy from blood loss and collapses, Tree hauls him off to the infirmary for rehydration, Jeeves continues to ply the squad with delicious cookies and tea (because their consumption is important), and Lord Grey gets giddy all of a sudden and starts performing moderately elaborate gymnastics in the middle of the conference room. While the rest of the squad files out of the room, Aurora watches this curious display in amazement. Grey challenges her to jump in a similar manner, but the Lightwave declines, insistent that the "fourth wall" and a reliance on pixie dust limit her capabilities. This theme continues later on when she rendezvous with the squad at the Ashen Rook's rec area, which is located near the All You Care to Eat Interplanar Buffet of Legend (AYCEIBL). Wynn "Snowflake" Frost (formerly known as "Cryo-Maid 867" and freshly promoted to being important enough to have a proper name) is excited that Aurora is interested in jumping and encourages her and the rest of the squad to compete in the Moderately Elaborate Jumping Contest. When the rest of the squad shows disinterest and Aurora continues to let the fourth wall hold her back, Wynn becomes disheartened and turns herself into a sad ice sculpture. While the rest of the squad and Driver who happens by look on, Aurora thaws Wynn out with the power of love. In an overly dramatic display, Wynn comes back to life and urges Aurora to believe in herself...and proposes that the two of them can create wonderful magic together...with love. This makes for a rather awkward moment that ends prematurely when Wynn dismisses herself to attend to some new recruits. With all of that embarrassing business adjourned, Lidiya takes the opportunity to finally get her R&R by heading back to her bedroom and treating herself to a two-week long nap...after kicking the lurking Pikachu out of the room, of course.
As the squad has yet to be assigned a proper interplanar mission, they consult the GreyCorps® Mission Board in hopes of finding a rewarding side quest to occupy their time. They eventually decide on helping an Orzhov noble track down his missing kitty cat.
"I Miss My Lil' Kitty Cat" Arc
Squad Obsidian decide to take up the task of locating a morbidly obese kitty cat named Bullion owned by Bishop Gildebauchs in hopes of collecting a sizable bounty, or at least to kill some time until they are assigned a "real" mission. Before embarking on their side quest, they hop over to the AYCEIBL to grab a few take out lunches for the trip. There they are reunited with Gertrude the Lunch Lady who has taken a job slinging grub at GreyCorps® since Thraben Prep was demolished during one of their recent exploits. As she passes out some premade picnic baskets, the squad meets and ivory-clad Combat Butler named George who is picking up a lunch basket for his squad...who just so happen to be after the same missing kitty cat. Instead of engaging in a potentially heated rivalry, the squad proposes that they work together with George's group to find Bullion. After brokering a partnership, collecting their meals, and boarding their Phelddagrif - pulled carriage, the group eventually reaches the Gildebauchs Estate where they join Squad Alabaster who are already interviewing the bishop. Mildred, fancifully dressed woman and apparent captain of the squad is already interviewing the distraught bishop in order to collect any pertinent information they might need to find his beloved kitty. All the bishop can offer them is the time and location of Bullion's disappearance, the strong belief that it was an abduction, and the mention of a pungent herbal odor at the scene. With that information, the joint task force of Squads Obsidian and Alabaster take their leave to attend to the bishop's dilemma.
Before they get down to business, the task force convene in the exceedingly lavish Alabaster carriage to enjoy a shared lunch. After a brief tour of the mobile facility and a fairly awkward incident involving a mix up with the premade lunch baskets, Squad Obsidian meet the real captain of their sister squad - a loquacious masked vampire named Ambrose. He proceeds to engage in conversation with Whimbly and anyone else who cares to contribute whilst indulging in some fancy bottled elvish blood that was gifted to him by Jeeves - because today happens to be his 412th birthday. And for some reason he continuously attempts to ply Mildred with that bloody beverage despite her refusals.
It seems like any other day in the market district:
Merchants are peddling their wares...
Onlookers are browsing the dizzying array of merchandise: some with newfound wonderment while to others it seems like more of the same thing.
Countless conversations meld into a collage of sound that could easily overwhelm the uninitiated.
The aroma of freshly charred kabobs at a local eatery tempt passersby...
...and a manic hoard of octorillas!
Random Pedestrians: "WAAAAAAAAAA! WHAT IS THAT THING?"
"IT'S EATING MY BRAAAAAAAIN!"
"DAMN DIRTY APE! GIVE ME MY BANANA!"
Octorillas:"SQUIBBY DIBBY DOO!"
The half-octopus/ half-gorilla monstrosities plunge the once peaceful marketplace into a full-scale panic. A once babbling brook of sentience has turned into a hot frothing cauldron of madness.
As the masses are gripped with mass hysteria, an air cafe sitting a few blocks away is still oblivious of the impending bedlam. A well-dressed gentleman seated at a window-side table tilts his head up from the menu and catches a glimpse of the mutant assault that threatens to consume the entire district. He raises his eyebrow at the curious sight, but seems to pay it no need. This man has far more pressing matters.
Waiter: "It's a pleasure to see you again, good sir. What can I get you today?"
The gentleman tilts his head slightly to address the waiter. The lenses of his tinted eyeglasses dramatically reflect the ambient sunlight.
Handsome Gentleman: "The usual, if you'd be so kind."
Waiter: "Certainly, sir."
The waiter quickly produces a saucer upon which sits a piping hot cup of tea.
Gentleman: "Most appreciated."
He takes a sip of the hot brew then casually redirects his gaze toward the approaching hoard.
"It appears things are going to be a lot hotter than 100 Centigrade. I certainly hope those new recruits live up to SR's claims."
((I guess we're supposed to use different colours to signify we're talking in character, but I'll probably put all my OOC talk in double parenthesis since most other colours hurt my eyes.[EDIT, could we get a list of everyone participating? I don't care about their characters, just rather not have someone barging in randomly also would be cool to see who's actually playing here]))
Alv was out shopping for various things, a hiddlebopper, the VE-406 Metal cutter that was just put on the market, and some Ooze Sweetjelly that he loved despite knowing where it comes from. As he passed some of the tall-folk he heard quick whispers of something coming this way, a horde of something...tentacle-y? He wasn't quite sure but he knew the faster he got to the ship the better. Grabbing his drawstring bag after packing the jelly and some scrap metal inside he hustled back to the vessel making sure to steer clear of any crowded streets that seemed overly excited.
"Ah, what a beauty. Can't wait till I get on board." Alv said to himself as he walked up to what appeared to be the front door of the vessel and knocked. After all, it was rude to just barge into a place un-welcomed when they're going to be giving you money and a place to live.
:in a nearby table at the café, what appears to be a blue tinted elf with black robes sits quietly reading a green leatherbound book. He glaces up briefly at the commotion headed his way: Sigh. I miss the silence already...
:His eyes quickly go back to his book, with an obvious "whatever" look on his face:
Mystery shifts her bag around to look at the pendant on the front flap. "Okay. I'll see what I can do." She moves the goggles around her neck over her eyes, "Boom." She launched herself off of the roof, catching the railing on the way down, flipping herself over it and walking quietly through the door.
The mad masses of tentacles and hair continue their assault on the hapless market goers. Local law enforcement has yet to encounter anything like an octorilla, let alone two dozen of them.
Soldier: "Take th...gya...GYAAAA!"
The mutant effortlessly swats the soldier's halberd from his hand and proceeds to throttle him with his tentacles. Several other hopelessly outclassed soldiers soon find themselves tossed about like rag dolls.
Little Girl: "NO! COME BACK, MITTENS!"
One of the octorillas notices the girl and kitty cat and draws its attention toward them. It's head tentacles wriggling in anticipation of tasting something new.
Several octorillas, stunned by Pikachu's explosive display slump to the ground while others blindly flail about with reckless abandon. The crispy 'rilla falls mere feet from where Pikachu previously stood.
Booming Manic Voice: "Ooooooh! What's that: an eel rat? And...a dragon...that's a girl? Is someone trying to upstage me?"
A giant moving platform propelled by a menagerie of large animal legs crests the hill of flailing octorillas to meet the crew. Perched atop it is a far more curious site:
There stands a figure who could be best described as a Simic geneticist who has taken the idea of splicing to a whole new level. A mass of wriggling squid tentacles support a muscular simian torso that in turn serves as the pillar that supports the head of a monocled elvish scientist. A transparent domed protects the mad geneticist's head from the outside world. Unfortunately it hasn't shielded the rest of the world from his "genius".
Mojo Vig: "I am Mojo Vig, supreme splicer of species! For too long has my genius been ignored! The glory of simian calamarism is at hand! And if a few settlements have to be razed in the process, that's the price of progress!"
Mojo Vig notices Aurora.
"What? A human with bioluminescence? She will be perfect for the next phase: glowing octorillas! No more lanterns! Bring her to me, my sweet babies!"
As Alv was about to knock on the door for the second time when a voice rung out from behind him telling him to do something about a guy with the Octo-rillas he was hearing about earlier, being in shock from the vocal sneak attack he missed out some of the message. He turned around quickly to see no one there but quickly remembered the amulet that was given to him for some form of contact. He scavenged through his drawstring to try to find it and request further information but not being able to he just grabbed a couple of his Exploders, as he liked to call them, then headed out back into the town.
As he arrived in town he managed to catch the figure atop the hill in the distance announce his name was Jojo Mojo or something and that the monkey apocalypse was coming. "Oh man, this ain't gonna be good" Alv looked around noticing some recently fried octo-rillas and a dragon in the sky. Quickly, he decided to just go chicken out in a nearby cafe that held some tallfolk onlookers and just let the dragon take care of everything, no doubt it could and why waste his precious Exploders on them anyways? "First day on the job, and I already gotta deal with this?" Alv sighed as he put his Exploders back in the drawstring. He heard someone in the same shop ask about the guy outside. Turning to the blue-ish tallfolk, "Yeah the guy was named Mojo Jig and was talking about taking down some towns cause he got picked on as a kid or something."
drops off the child and cat by Alv
If you aren't going to fight, then watch this child please. goes back and picks up an octarilla in claws, carrying it high in the sky then setting it on fire and dropping the flaming carcass from a great height to land at Mojo Vig's feet
The handsome gentleman, continuing to nurse his cup of tea pauses for a moment to remark to the new recruits:
Handsome Gentleman: "I hate to be rude, but aren't you being paid to stop that Mojo Vig fellow? He's making a terrible mess of things and doesn't strike me as the surrendering type. So hop to it, ladies and gentlemen.
Besides, this is hardly time for a break."
gestures to the visibly terrified waiter.
"Freshen my drink, would you kindly?"
Mojo Vig: "The Glow...I must have the glow..."
Mojo's cranial dome sparks with psychic power which branches out to infuse his remaining phalanx of octorillas. Their tentacles begin to undulate in synchronous rhythm, each upstroke generating increasingly potent waves of telekinetic energy that shear nearby buildings as if they were made of paper.
"Leave the glowing child for me, rend the rest of these interlopers to dust!"